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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • McPherson Legion stomps Great Bend

  • Post 24 coach Tony Schmidt was expecting his team to be ready to play Great Bend Wednesday at Grant Sports Complex.
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  • Post 24 coach Tony Schmidt was expecting his team to be ready to play Great Bend Wednesday at Grant Sports Complex.
    He wasn’t expecting to win by run rule in both games of the doubleheader, the second in two days for the McPherson American Legion.
    “We thought we’d see their team from last year,” Schmidt said. “And we beat them and they were a pretty good team. They just weren’t used to small ball. This isn’t the team that we thought [Great Bend] would be.”
    Wednesday’s wins bumped up the Legion’s win streak to eight games dating back to the opening day of the Bob Hooper Classic on June 20.
    While Schmidt was expecting a bit closer scores than the 14-4 and 13-3 decisions Post 24 earned in run rule fashion, he was by no means disappointed in the way his team played.
    In fact, the blow outs allowed him to play around with his pitching rotation in the second game, allowing both Jacob Loecker and Cody Starkel to work some much needed innings on the mound as the zone tournament looms closer.
    Loecker went three innings and got the win, facing 29 batters and giving up one run on three this and a pair of walks. He struck out three batters.
    Starkel worked the final inning for McPherson (13-5), where he gave up a pair of runs on four hits, with no walks and two strike outs.
    “[Starkel] did a good job [on the mound],” Schmidt said. “And Jacob Loecker came in and throw some strikes. We got to do some things that we normally didn’t do, and that was kind of fun for our kids, too.”
    Marcus McDaniel went the distance in the 14-4 win in game one, as he went four innings, giving up two earned runs off five hits and three walks. He struck out two.
    Game one was all McPherson from the start, as Brody Burney drove in two runs off a single to left field. That kicked off a four run inning for Post 24 that they only added two in the second and third innings.
    Burney went 2-for-3 in the game, with two three RBIs and three runs scored before he had to come out of the game in the bottom of the third after coming up limping after hitting into what turned into a fielder’s choice doubleplay that got Caleb Schmidt out at third and Starkel at second.
    Burney was safe at first, but had to be helped off the field with what was feared to be a possible pulled hamstring.
    “Hopefully, he recovers this weekend,” Tony Schmidt said. “He’s really hit the ball well this year.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Starkel continued his recent hot streak, as he went 2-for-2 in game one with two runs scored. For the day, Starkel was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a five runs scored.
    “He’s killed it,” Schmidt said. “He’s got a nice, flat bat in the zone and he’s done a real good job.”
    Griffin Myers also had three RBIs in the game one win over Great Bend.
    McPherson scored four in the first inning in game two and never really looked back, as they avoided a let down similar to Tuesday night’s game two against the Wichita Sluggers.
    “We learned something from last night,” Schmidt said. “We didn’t come out flat this game. Even though we didn’t get to play the games we wanted to, maybe, we get to learn something anyway.”
    Caleb Schmidt put in a solid performance at the plate, as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Cody Starkel led with his three RBIs, though Trenton Olson added two, himself.
    Micah McCulley and Kolby Reed had the only extra base hits for the Legion in the doubleheader, as they both recorded doubles in the second half of the twin bill.
    McPherson will test their win streak this weekend, as they head to Alma for a six-team, round robin tournament Saturday and Sunday. Post 24 is guaranteed play four games over the two-day tournament, though Tony Schmidt feels his team is cresting at just the right time.
    “I feel we’re where we need to be,” Schmidt said. “[Great Bend] was good for our confidence, but we need to see some pitching too.”
    Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.
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